by Thomas Lifson
editor and pubisher of The American Thinker
The desperate left is reviving old clichés and images, fighting a reactionary rear-guard effort to defend the vision of a secular state and society they have tried to build in the Twentieth Century. Faced with continuing losses at the polls, they are resorting to amplifying the volume of their disdain for those with whom they disagree.
Ugly, bigoted, nearly-incoherent elitist liberal hatred for conservative Protestants is on display this morning on the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times. William Thatcher Dowell raises alarms over the campaign to defend the public display of the ten Commandments, which he curiously seems to think is exclusively a Protestant affair, ignoring the preference of roughly 80% of Americans to do so, a group which must necessarily include many Catholics and Jews.
Here are some lowlights of his screed:
In trying to promote the commandments, the Christian right seems to have forgotten what they are really about. It has also overlooked the fact that there are several versions: Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Different language in Catholic Bibles and the Jewish Torah offer more variants.
Which should be enshrined? That is just the kind of debate that has been responsible for religious massacres through the ages.
Noting like raising the spectacle of religious slaughter. We’d better forget about it, I guess. Secularism never slaughters anyone, except for maybe Stalin, Mao, the French Revolution…
*It is part of a reaction against social change, an American counter-reformation of sorts against the way our society has been evolving. *
Whoa! If I recall my history correctly, the counter-reformation was not exactly a Protestant affair. I am confused.
Those pushing to blur the boundaries between church and state feel that they are losing out — much as, in the Middle East, Islamic fundamentalists fear they are losing out to “Western values.”
Wait a minute! Protestants, Catholics, and now Muslims? Does this guy just hate religion? If militant Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists don’t come into this article, they will surely feel cheated.
The reactions are remarkably similar. In the Arab Middle East and Iran, the response is an insistence on the establishment of Islamic law as the basis for political life; in the United States, school districts assert religious over scientific theory in biology class, tax dollars are going to the faith-based, and the Ten Commandments are a putative founding document.
Teaching the theory of evolution as an, ummm, theory is “remarkably similar” to installing Sharia Law, with its stoning of rape victims as adulteres. No stretching there. And if any tax dollars go to faith-based groups working for public goals, that’s just like Sharia, too? Does this guy realize that many Western European countries, and Canada, too, provide tax dollars to religious groups for educational and social service purposes? Does he really think that the Ten Commandments have nothing to do with the foundations of our legal system?
George W. Bush may now find himself in the same kind of trap that ensnared Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud. To gain political support, Saud mobilized the fanatical, ultrareligious Wahhabi movement — the movement that is spiritually at the core of Al Qaeda. Once the bargain was done, the Saudi royal family repeatedly found itself held political hostage to an extremist, barely controllable movement populated by radical ideologues. The evangelical movement in the U.S. nudged the president back into the White House, and Bush must now try to pay off the political bill for its support.
Boy, it took him long enough to bash Bush by comparing him to Saudi’s founder, a nomad who seized power and installed a dynasty, naming the country after his family. I am certain we will be hearing about bills renaming the country, “The United States of Bush.” And, yes, those counter-reforming Protestant Muslims really are a scary lot. . .